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April 21, 2014 by NATASHA LONGO
What Happens When You Submerge Cans of Diet Soda and Regular Soda In Water?

We don't talk about how dense foods used to be 50 years ago, but when natural ingredients were the norm, foods were a lot more dense than they are today. Our artificial and processed food industry has introduced so many sweeteners and preservatives that they have made foods lighter with less mass per volume at the expense of nutrients. A good example to demonstrate this fact is to find out what happens when cans of diet soda or regular soda are submerged in water.

The cans of soda have exactly the same volume, or size. But their density differs due to what is dissolved in the soda. Regular soda contains sugar as a sweetener. If you look at the nutrition facts on a can of regular soda, you will notice that it contains sugar...a lot of sugar. In some cases a 12 ounce can of regular soda will contain over 40 grams of sugar. Diet sodas, on the other hand, use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.

These artificial sweeteners found in many foods and chewing gums are more toxic and may be hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, which means that less than a few grams of artificial sweetener is used in a can of diet soda. The difference in the amount of dissolved sweeteners leads to a difference in density. Cans of regular soda tend to be more dense than water, so they sink. Cans of diet soda are usually less dense than water, so they float.

Regular soda may also contain the toxic sweetener high fructose corn syrup which is slightly sweeter than sucrose. Both regular soda and diet soda cause dehydration, mineral depletion, caffeine dependence, tooth decay and correlate with weight gain, obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. They're also responsible for an increased risk of vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.

Our pleasure in consuming sweet solutions is driven to a great extent by the amount of energy it provides. The greatest rewards in the brain are attributed to sugars compared to artificial sweeteners which offer only short-term pleasure at a huge health cost.

Using artificial sweeteners may actually throw off the body's ability to monitor how many calories we consume. Rats fed an artificially sweetened diet tend to overeat when given naturally sweetened high-calorie food compared with rats that had never consumed artificial sweeteners.

People who consume soft drinks such as Coke have a 48% increase in heart attack and stroke risk, compared to people who did not drink the sodas at all or did not drink them every day.

A study published in the journal Respirology reveals that soft drink consumption is associated with lung and breathing disordersincluding asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The carbonation in Coke causes calcium loss in the bones through a three-stage process:

  1. The carbonation irritates the stomach.
  2. The stomach "cures" the irritation the only way it knows how. It adds the only antacid at its disposal: calcium. It gets this from the blood.
  3. The blood, now low on calcium, replenishes its supply from the bones. If it did not do this, muscular and brain function would be severely impaired.

But, the story doesn't end there. Another problem with most Coke is it also contain phosphoric acid (not the same as the carbonation, which is carbon dioxide mixed with the water). This substance also causes a drawdown on the store of calcium.

So Coke softens your bones (actually, they make them weak and brittle) in three ways:

  1. Carbonation reduces the calcium in the bones.
  2. Phosphoric acid reduces the calcium in the bones.
  3. The beverage replaces a calcium-containing alternative, such as milk or water. Milk and water are not excellent calcium sources, but they are sources.

Overall, if you are consuming any type of soda, whether regular or diet, you're certainly not doing your health a service. Soda is dangerous at any consumption level, so select fresh juices, water or coconut water to quench your thirst because nothing will hydrate you better.


Natasha Longo has a master's degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

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